One of the biggest obstacles to quitting my full time job and diving into this writing career was, of course, money. From the time I was a teenager making 50 cents an hour babysitting and three dollars a yard mowing grass, I kept meticulous track of my financial status. As I grew older I discovered the joy of keeping a budget, but soon this handy tool became an obsession; I would do and re-do my budget up to twice a day. So you can imagine how hard it was for me to change careers at age 49, turning loose a six-figure income in exchange for a shot at living my dream, and writing full time on hope, prayer, and trust in God’s promises. Fear of poverty is a vestige of my “old man” I still deal with, but back then that fear held me in bondage, causing me to wait three decades to finally step out and answer God’s call.
One day, as I rubbed my budget between my fingers for the umpteenth time prior to leaving my comfy job and a relatively secure pension, I fretted about the bottom line and how much I’d have to make to remain financially afloat as I embarked on my new lifestyle. I calculated and recalculated the minimum hourly income I’d need from a side job to keep the house and pay my expenses, and I went so far as to figure out how many years I’d have before I would be forced to sell my house and move into something more financially in-line with a writer’s income. That’s when God stepped in: “You’re not taking into account the revenue from the books,” He declared, gently. Oh My God! He was absolutely right! In my clouded, pessimistic thinking, I’d basically planned for failure, calculating the number of years to financial insolvency with no thought that my writing would be successful; I hadn’t even given my dream a chance to thrive let alone survive. In one word of encouragement, Daddy shifted my thinking from one of wretched poverty to one of brilliant hope in following His calling. It was a change in perspective, a 180 degree flip in my attitude. And my reality.
Several months later, while participating in a Freedom class at New River Fellowship in Hudson Oaks, Texas, Korby Taylor, the course facilitator, asked us to close our eyes and allow God to show us how His Kingdom is being manifested in our lives right now. I leaned back in the chair, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and opened my mind in anticipation of what the Lord would reveal. Moments later I clearly envisioned an empty bookshelf on our massive wall unit in the living room. Suddenly a book appeared and slid into place on the shelf, leaning against the left-hand side. Then another book appeared and slid into place, nestled up to the first one. Then another and another and another. I smiled at the vision, reveled in the revelation that what God called me to do was coming to pass. “Notice the bookshelf,” He suddenly said from within the thankfulness of my reverie. “It’s the same one.”
Oh My God! He was absolutely right! As I enjoyed watching God stock the bookshelf with my future writing, He opened my spiritual eyes to the fact that the bookshelf He was populating was the exact same bookshelf which now stood in the living room. Of my house. The same house I worried about losing because of the uncertainty of my future financial status. This little kiss on the cheek affirmed I still had nothing to worry about: I’d still be living in the same house as the books–my books!–stacked up on that bookshelf. He again changed my perspective and brought my future into the light of His reality.
A good friend of mine, Luke Ogle, shared the following story with our life group recently: One day while driving to work, Luke fell into his habit of praying and spending time with Daddy. He asked God to bless and protect his family, to walk out his day with him and clear out any obstacles that might lay in waiting for him, and to shower down His love. “In the midst of all that,” Luke related, “I said something that was so innocent, so nonchalant, that the true meaning never crossed my mind. It was a thank you: ‘Thank You God, in all Your Majesty, that You love, protect, and bless a grain of sand like me.’”
The Presence of God swooped in. “It hit me like a freight train at full speed!” Luke said. “I’ve encountered the Lord before, but never in this this magnitude, and never so quickly and clearly. Jesus definitely took the wheel of my morning commute because I no longer saw the road and the cars around me.” God took Luke in His arms and took him on a half-second ride from his car up to the top of the world. “More literally above the world, our earth,” Luke continued. “I was sitting in His arms looking down upon the earth. He spoke in my ear and He said ever so gently, like He always does, ‘I didn’t create you to be a grain of sand. I created you to be so much more. More than all you see now. I created you above all else, so do not be a grain of sand any longer because I died and rose again to make you heir to the Throne.’ Then my Daddy kissed me on the forehead, like He always does, and gave me a hug. I thanked Him again, this time for allowing me to see Him and the experience that I will never forget. I thanked Him for creating me to be on top of the world and heir to His Mighty Throne. Then I was returned to my car.” All of this took place in the stretch of a quarter mile, in traffic, at 70 miles-per-hour.
“Now I see the bigger picture,” Luke concluded. “The one I was made for. The one I am destined for. The one I am heir to.” In other words, a change in perspective.
Copyright © 2014 by David C Hughes